Safe Brave Space is not a thing or a destination, but rather a state of being and relating. It isn’t something that you achieve but rather something that you continually create.
Over the past six months, I have been writing my first book ‘Seeking and Enabling Safe Brave Spaces.’ The book has been brewing over the past few years, beginning in a time of personal turbulence and evolving as I experienced a world increasingly driven by fear, anger, stress and pressure to be someone other than ourselves. With all this turmoil it is easy to get scared, dejected, depressed … and yet over the past year, I have become more hopeful, more excited and more positive than I have ever been. This hope has been inspired through the witness of others and an internal self-discovery of what I describe as Safe Brave Spaces.
As you begin to activate Safe Brave Space within yourself you realize an ever-expanding level of potential. Through this emerging potential, you experience greater joy, peace and freedom.
- Joy is defined as a source of delight and well-being. It is when my heart is filled with gratefulness in the moment, where I am fully engaged, and I feel connected to something bigger than myself. Joy and peace are intertwined as one enhances the other.
- Peace is a place of ‘pause’ where one feels more fully equipped and prepared for this moment. It is accompanied by a stillness in your body, mind and heart where we simply become more connected to ourselves and others. These moments of connection lead to freedom.
- Freedom to choose, to act, to live more fully. These are the moments in our life when you experience a resistant-free flow, where you let go and fully show up to the experience and to those you are experiencing it with.
The beauty of Safe Brave Space is that anyone can activate it and it simply requires us to commit to and focus on the strengthening of two areas:
- Safe – understanding, accepting and trusting yourself
- Brave – doing, actioning, releasing the unencumbered freedom to stand for what you believe in
Safe and brave are complementary to each other, as I work on one, the other strengthens.
As I committed to developing my personal safe brave space I …
- Felt free to be me and to bring my ‘whole self’ to each situation
- Gained confidence and trust in who I am and what I bring
- Became more curious of & valued the unique contribution of others
- More courageously expressed my insights, ideas and perspectives, while letting go of bias and remaining open to others
My earlier described hope has accelerated since the beginning of the COVID crisis and especially over the last few weeks through the voices protesting all over the world. Now more than ever there is a need to seek and enable safe brave spaces. Within my personal journey, I describe that Safe Brave Spaces need to begin within ME, accelerates between YOU & ME (in my one on one relationships) and flourishes amongst WE (across our communities).
Within the context of the BIPOC call for action, as an older cisgender white man, my journey to seeking and enabling safe brave spaces begins with understanding both the situation and my reactions and responses to it. This requires me first to seek and listen.
Two sources that I have found very helpful for this are:
- A Conversation with President Obama (https://youtu.be/q_qB6SsErpA)
- Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man w/Emmanuel Acho (https://youtu.be/h8jUA7JBkF4)
As I choose to seek and enable Safe Brave Spaces within ME, I discover the courage to begin the conversation between YOU & ME. The second video of ‘Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man’ is a great example of that commitment in action. As humans, we recognize that almost everything happens ‘in-between’. True change will only happen through healthy dialogue. If each of us makes a commitment to seeking and enabling a safe brave dialogue with one person each day over the next week, what could we learn? What momentum could we create?
Let’s replicate the great example provided by Emmanuel Acho and continue the conversation.